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March 30, 2010

The Mourners at the Met

One of the current exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is The Mourners numerous alabaster grave sculptures (1443-56) from the tomb of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and his wife Margaret.  There is a fabulous website with photographs of all of the sculptures.  Each can be rotated 360 degree on the website for full viewing.

"The Mourners from the tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy are deeply affecting works of art. Beyond their evident visual and narrative qualities, we cannot help but be struck by the emotion they convey as they follow the funeral procession, weeping, praying, singing, lost in thought, giving vent to their grief, or consoling their neighbor. Mourning, they remind us, is a collective experience, common to all people and all moments in history."

Sophie Jugie, Director, Musée des Beaux-Arts. Dijon

The sculptures are in perfect condition - and so impressive, all lined up in two rows in the middle of the Medieval Hall in the middle of the Museum.  I am most attracted to the ones with the the hoods over their heads and sketched one full figure and one head. 

                Mourner1.jpg

 

  

 

        Mourner2.jpg

I'm so delighted that our modem was replaced and we now have internet access again. 

March 22, 2010

A Productive Day at the Museum of Natural History in NYC

The Meet-Up Central Park Drawing Group met at the Museum of Natural History yesterday.  During our regular sessions we meet at the entrance, draw in a general region for approximately 30 minutes and then return to a central location to share our sketchbooks.  We then move to a new location and repeat the process again and again for almost 3 hours.

Yesterday we began in the African Mammal exhibits - on the balcony - and I was capitvated by the ostrich and babies.  I also did a quick sketch of a baboon (paint added today).

                     Ostrich.jpg

           Baboon.jpg

We then moved to the North American birds section (I'm not a bird lover) and I sketched a golden eagle.

                  GoldenEagle.jpg

Around the corner was the primate section and the chimp had such a wonderful hand pose, I had to sketch him.

                  Chimp.jpg

 

Finally we went to the 4th floor to the dinosaur skeletons and I sketched the head of T.Rex.  The sketch was done in pencil and then I practiced using the dreaded Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and a watercolor pencil to finish the painting.

T.Rex.jpg

Patti Gregory (1960-2010

Yesterday morning I learned of the tragic death of Danny Gregory's wife Patti.  I only met Patti once 4 years ago, but was really impressed with her smile and energy.  Danny is the author of Everyday Matters, a book of sketches and writing from the time following Patti's subway accident which left her paraplegic.  I was just beginning this journey, which I call sketchbook art, and joined his Everyday Matters online art group in September 2005.  Over the last few years, by following Danny's blog, reading his subsequent books, The Creative License and An Illustrated Life, and taking a "visual journaling class" with him here in NYC, I learned more about them and their son Jack Tea.  My heart is breaking for Danny and Jack. 

 

 

March 16, 2010

Demon from the Hours of Catherine of Cleves

I went to the Morgan Library and Museum last week to see the current exhibits - and sketched a demon from the illuminated manuscript called the Hours of Catherine of Cleves (15th C.).  It has a very interesting history and the borders on each page are amazing and never repeated.  I sketched one of the demons (which appeared on the corner of the border of page 94 and was enlarged in a photograph as part of the exhibit.)

                Demon.jpg

It is worth looking at the facsimiles on the webpage in my link to the exhibit just to see the quality of the painting and the brilliance of the colors. 

Donna posted drawings today that she did with her new Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.  I agree with everything she says about the pen and ...

I decided to upload this drawing today in order to demonstrate that on my Fabriano Artistico 140 lb soft press paper, the ink that comes in the cartridges with the Pental Pocket Brush Pen is watersoluble.  The gray color of my demon is just ink pulled into the drawing with plain water.  I allowed the ink to dry for 15-30 minutes before "painting it" with the water.  I know that others don't have this problem, so I assume it is paper-dependent, since we have compared pen product numbers, etc, etc.

 

March 12, 2010

Bronzino Drawings at the Met

I love the drawings of Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572) and today joined my friend Melly at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to draw some of them for the second time.  My first drawings were posted here.  The exhibit ends April 18th. so I will even have time to return for more.  All of the drawings were done with a Caran d'Ache aquarelle pencil (Mahogany).

 Study for his painting Jealousy - and for me More Hand Drawing Practice:

          Bronzino.jealousy.jpg

Head of a Young Woman - and for me the challenge was getting the correct angle for the head: 

Bronzino.young%20woman.jpg

Study of Crossed Legs - and for me lots of crosshatching for shading

Bronzino.crossed%20legd.jpg

March 10, 2010

Figure Drawing at the Society of Illustrators

Last night was my monthly session at figure drawing.  Since they are held twice each week, I can usually find at least one night to go each month.  The format remains the same - two models in ten 2 minute poses, four 5 minute poses, two 10 minute poses, and three 20 minute poses while sketching with wine and live jazz.  I sat in a different area of the room last night and wrestled with the angle during most of the 2 minute poses.  Here are a few from the 5, 10, and 20 minute poses.  I'm still sketching with plain graphite.

5 minutes:

                 5.1.Mar9.jpg

 

5 Minutes:

               5%2C2.Mar9.jpg

 

10 Minutes:

                10.1.Mar9.jpg

 

20 Minutes:

               20.1.Mar9.jpg

 

20 Minutes:

                20.2.Mar9.jpg